JUDAS PRIEST - Raisins In The East!
by Martin Popoff

OK, not quite raisins yet, but the venerable metal legends known as Judas Priest have capped off their 31st year of being leather-clad and classic, with the issuance of a new DVD called Rising In The East. Last year's well-received reunion album with Rob Halford, Angel Of Retribution, resulted in a mania-ravaged tour for the record, and this Budokan-blasted DVD captures the band at the apex of the jaunt. And is it my imagination, or is the stage set up - the classiest the band has ever known - slightly upscale from the already good one I saw here in Toronto at the Molson Amphitheater? In any event, the show is a blast, beautiful, insanely colourful, and of the utmost fidelity. Stacked with unavoidable favourites, the uber-fan also gets to hear 'Hot Rockin'', 'Exciter', 'Ram It Down', 'Riding On The Wind' and fully five selections from the slammin', old school and proud of it, Angel Of Retribution.

Says lead steed Rob Halford, "Well, the reaction to Angel Of Retribution was so strong. I think we were a bit taken aback by the worldwide way the fans grabbed it, immediately got into the record, and wanted to experience these tracks live. So we ended up doing, well, almost 50% of the record. We were playing five tracks, weren't we? And when you put a set list together, you're looking for the dynamics, and the journey through Priest's history, but we knew the fans were wanting to hear as much of Angel Of Retribution as possible. I think, really, 'Judas Rising', which is kind of a spectacular part of the show, with special effects and the backdrop and everything, the essence of that song, the message it conveys, that really is something we felt needed to be included. And 'Hellrider'... it's full of character and personality in the same vein as 'Sinner' or 'The Sentinel'. If you look back at the history of Priest, there are always one or two songs that are a new adventure for us musically. So I remember, when Glenn and Ken and myself sat down to put that together, I suggested the idea of taking that kind of late '50s, early '60s pulp fiction type emotion, and bringing that into the style of the song, which was something Priest had never done.

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